On 28 December 2009, filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen was sentenced to six years imprisonment for "subversion", following a secret trial in Xining. Dhondup Wangchen had been detained shortly after completing filming for a documentary called “Leaving Fear Behind”. His film portrays the actual living conditions in occupied Tibet and features interviews with Tibetans talking about the situation in Tibet. It was shot secretly and smuggled out of the country in March, 2008, just days before mass demonstrations erupted around the anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
In Dhondup Wangchen’s own words: “At a time of great difficulty and a feeling of helplessness, [the idea of our film is to] get some meaningful response and results. It is very difficult [for Tibetans] to go to Beijing and speak out there. So that is why we decided to show the real feelings of Tibetans inside Tibet through this film.” His family believes he has been tortured while imprisoned, and that he has contracted Hepatitis B and that his health is failing.
His wife, Lhamo Tso, has been living under hard conditions since she escaped to India and has had to support not only her four children, but also the parents of her husband. She is now living in the United States. Lhamo Tso is in San Francisco to build awareness of the case of her husband, and to campaign for his release. She needs your help to free her husband, support their 4 children and Dhondup’s parents.
United States of America on Dhondup Wangchen US government and lawmakers on Dhondup Wangchen
State Departement: http://1.usa.gov/14H4eht
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi: http://www.democraticleader.gov/news/press/pelosi-statement-tibetan-upri...
US State Department highlights Dhondup Wangchen's case http://www.filmingfortibet.org/2012/04/22/state-departement-highlights-d...
Public recognition in US for Dhondup Wangchen - CPJ US award for Dhondup Wangchen http://www.filmingfortibet.org/2012/11/20/press-freedom-prize-goes-to-dh...
Support for Dhondup Wangchen in US, experienced by the public, Lhamo Tso in the US http://www.filmingfortibet.org/2012/04/30/itinerary-of-lhamo-tso/
The Bay Area Friends of Tibet – an organization advocating for Tibetans’ rights since 1983 – believes the case of Dhondup Wangchen highlights the urgent need for basic human rights and democratic freedoms in Chinese-occupied Tibet. The Bay Area Friends of Tibet president Giovanni Vassallo has called on the Chinese government to release Dhondup Wangchen immediately, if only on humanitarian grounds. He also said, “Please give your help to this kind and brave lady and reunite her with her most courageous husband, who did nothing wrong.” He added, “Please give generously to Lhamo Tso and Dhondup Wangchen, and show your support by donating badly needed funds for this freedom-loving family.” Watch Lhamo Tso speaking.
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